February 28, 2007
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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 6, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1993
THE CARBON CYCLE: CORAL REEFS
"Coral Reefs: Sources or Sinks of Atmospheric CO2,"
J.R. Ware (Dept. Oceanog., Univ. Hawaii, Honolulu HI 96822), S.V.
Smith, M.L. Reakakudla, Coral Reefs, 11(3),
127-130, Sep. 1992.
Although it has frequently been thought that coral reefs
function as sinks of atmospheric CO2, the
precipitation of calcium is accompanied by a shift of pH that
results in the release of CO2. Estimates that the CO2
released by reefs amounts to 0.4-1.4% of the current
anthropogenic production due to fossil fuel combustion.
"Return of the Coral Reef Hypothesis: Basin to Shelf
Partitioning of CaCO3 and Its Effect on Atmospheric CO2,"
B.N. Opdyke (Dept. Geol. Sci., Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor MI
48109), J.C.G. Walker, Geology, 20(8), 733-736,
Differences in the rate of coral reef carbonate deposition
from the Pleistocene to the Holocene may account for the recently
recognized Quaternary fluctuations in CO2. A simple
numerical model of the global carbon cycle replicates the 80 ppm
atmospheric CO2 fluctuations observed in the Vostok
ice core for the Quaternary, as well as approximate depth changes
in percent carbonate of sediments measured in the Pacific ocean
over the same time interval.
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